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Synagogue Slatina

Information on the history of the synagogue in Slatina.

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Synagogue

Jewish cemetery in Slatina

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Adolf Joachim Sabath

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Synagogue in Slatina (cultural landmark)

The original synagogue was wooden, standing on a four wooden supporting pillars, with dimensions of 8×6 meters.

Synagogue in Slatina is cultural landmarkThe synagogue was situated in the center of the ghetto. The new synagogue in Slatina is standalone, simple classicist building with hip roof (also called hipped roof). The exterior dimensions are 18,9 x 11,4 meters, height to the main cornice is 7 meters. Synagogue was built in 1868 (some sources indicates already in 1850). The divine services took place in the synagogue until 1912. On the 20th September, 1917 the last Jew, Karel Sabath, left Slatina. That same year the synagogue was purchased for 10 800Kčs (Czech Krowns) by tradesman and music teacher, Mr. Karel Volmut. He rebuilt part of synagogue where then school was, and turned it into a store. The former chapel was converted to a barn. After the World War II, he moved and the abandoned synagogue helped out to village and to a newly established collective farm. When the collective farm started to use the synagogue as storage for fertilizers, it seems that her doom was certain. Fortunately, in 1975 the synagogue was sold by the then owner JZD Svéradice after the consolidation of collected farms, and new owners renovated the synagogue in 1983 to today's image.

This brick, for a rural style very palatial synagogue has been built as one of few outside the former ghetto, on the village square.Synagogue in the year 2006The synagogue is oriented approximately in the direction, where Jerusalem is located, so to the east, as it is at the most of temples built in diaspora. This tradition is broken just in few cases. The walls of temple are discontinued in both floors by big half-round ended windows. The interior decoration was very temperate. Synagogal art was presented here with help of ornaments, symbols and scripture. Unfortunately the paintings had not been preserved in a large extent. One painting is situated above the place, where the ark, known in Hebrew as the Aron ha Kodesh was. The Ark was located on the east wall of the synagogue closest to Jerusalem, considered the holiest spot in the world by Judaism. On the face of building, there were probably situated two stone desks of Decalogue or a different Hebrew sign. The temple entrance was situated at the front face of the building. There were originally two entrances.

The first was probably used as an entrance to the west, habitable part of synagogue, where was teacher apartment and small school class. In the ground floor, there was a small store built up in 1917. On of the rooms in ground floor was used as a kitchen. That indicates also a discovery of a scullery (historic kitchen) contours in one of the walls, during the reconstruction works. Based on some resources there was a matza (matzoh in Hebrew) bakery. Consumption of matza during the Jewish holiday of Passover is explained by biblical narrative relating the Exodus from Egypt. Israelites left Egypt in such haste, they could not wait for their bread dough to rise. The resulting product was matza. (Exodus 12:39). So matza is eaten to remind Jews of the exodus story. In the ground floor there was also the Jewish ritual bath called mikvah. A mikvah must, according to the classical regulations, contain enough water to cover the entire body of an average-sized man, that means approximately 762 litres of water. Biblical regulations require "living water", such as natural springs or groundwater wells. In the ancient Israel Jewish priests used mikvah to achieve ritual purity before the service in Jerusalem temple. Its main uses nowadays are for example by Jewish women to achieve ritual purity after menstruation or childbirth, by Jewish man to achieve ritual purity before Sabbath and Jewish holiday (Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah) and as part of a traditional procedure for conversion to Judaism. Exact location of mikvah was not uncovered. Behind the entrance door there is opening space of hall with barrel vault and segmental arches. On the right side there is stairway to the first floor, also with barrel vault.

Slatina in the year 1894The second was used as entrance to temple narthex formed by three very small rooms with vaults. Space was probably decorated with paintings and Hebrew signs, represented for example by Jewish prayer Kaddish speaking to "… all those who engage in the Torah here and in all other places. May they and you have much peace, grace and kindness and mercy and long life …" This space is opened to the temple alone, high hall, decorated with symbolic paintings, with three arches vault into two massive granite columns. This was the place of assembly for the members of Jewish community in Slatina at the end of week on Friday after the first star come out and on the Sabbath. On the east side of – oriented to the Jerusalem – there was an ark called Aron Ha-Kodesh, where the Torah scrolls (Pentateuch – five books of Moses) were kept. The ark alone was constantly covered with an ornate curtain, the parokhet. In the centre of synagogue there was located the bimah, also called almemor, the elevated platform where the person reading aloud from the Torah stands during the Torah reading service. The seating area in modern ordering in lines, was heading to sanctuary and almemor by the east wall of temple. Women's did not have access to the consecrated part of synagogue. For that reason there was a women's section located on a balcony with wooden balustrade in the first floor and accessible only from an outdoor stairway on the north side of synagogue.

Fotogallery:


Monument preservation:

Protection status / type of conclusion: it is protected / registered in the state list before 1988
Monument since: 1958
Registry number ÚSKP: 37216/4-3287

Building characteristics:
Footprint: 18.9 x 11.4 m
Height: 7 m
Type of roof: hipped
Roof: the original wooden
Type of roof: standalone
Roofing: holandka Jirčany
The vault in the hallway and staircase: barrel
Vault in the room: the room where the shop is used to the Prussian vault - the rectangle in the foyer
Ceilings: Tie-beam
Arches in the interior: segmental arches in the hall
Windows: in záklencích, 2 windows of the thermal type, 7 windows špaletových (kastlových), 3 of the fanlight, 8 large semicircular windows in the prayer hall